Cincinnati Select Invitational

The Cincinnati Select Invitational held this past weekend in Cincinnati featured some of the states finest AAU programs. Hosted by Cincinnati Select, all the big boys were there: All-Ohio, Cleveland Basketball Club, Cincinnati AAU, and the Queen City Prophets. Each age division had very stiff competition.

At 17U, Cincinnati AAU 1 led by Billy Finnel, Bubba Walther, and Kevin Weybright won the championship. They beat a very game Queen City Prophet team in the final four because the Prophets missed too many free throws. In the championship game Cincinnati AAU beat Cincinnati Select 61-49. CJ Anderson is a future pro and led Cincinnati Select in their efforts. Steve Horton, Tank Pearson, and Darryl Payton supported him kindly. In what was the game of the weekend, Select beat the Queen City Prophets who was led by Norman Plummer, Walt Chancellor, Jurrell Williams, Ed Herring, and Mark Dorris. Moeller's Drew Brackman, playing in his first game since coming off the mound for the Moeller baseball team showed that he was one of the top five players at the event. The very talented CBC 17U didn't participate in this tourney. Brian Roberts, Isaiah Carson, and Denzel Lyles led all-Ohio. Any of these teams can beat the other at any time. Cincinnati AAU beat both the Prophets and Select to win the tournament, and gain the title as BEST in the state (for the moment) because of an earlier win against Cleveland Basketball Club.

At 16 U, I didn't get to see much of the competition, but All-Ohio won the tournament as Ben Raymond continued to show that he has the goods. They beat a very solid Cincinnati AAU team that has Johnny Wolf and Ross Moorin. JYM made a very decent run here and put themselves in the mix for a pending state AAU run. Cincinnati Select also has a very talented team with Chris Knight, Matt Pilgrim, Rob Walker, and DeAndre Byrd. All in all the competition was said to be hot and heavy at this age group.

At 15U the Dayton Airmen were the favorite when they came into the gym with two of Indiana's top freshmen and Ohio's best freshmen. Yeah, that's right, I am proclaiming Dequan Cook (Dayton Dunbar) as the number one freshmen in the state. I've seen 99% of the top freshmen (cant wait to see David Lighty!) and Dequan (better known as Pooh) has the PACKAGE! Inside, outside, j, handle, and most importantly UNDERSTANDING. In each of the Airmen victories Pooh took over. In the very challenging final four game against the Cincinnati Cowboys Pooh went on a ten-point spurt and put the game out of reach! The kids from Indiana were 6'11 Greg Oden and 6'1 Mike Conley Jr. Oden is a giant and plays with such patience for a big man. He won't see a college classroom! Conley, the son of Olympian Mike Conley, is the smoothest guard I've seen at this age group. Other Airmen that contributed were also coach's son's Aaron Powell, and Donovan Potter. The Airmen beat Cleveland Basketball Club in the finals of this age division. Other teams that made noise in the age division were Cleveland Basketball Club, Cincinnati Cowboys, NEO Shooting Stars, All-Ohio, and the Queen City Prophets. I didn't get the names of the very talented CBC or NEO Shooting star kids, but I did see them up close and personal. CBC is loaded and very very tough. They expect to win and did just that before losing to the Airmen in the championship game. CBC did lose unexpectedly to the Cincinnati Cowboys who also beat All-Ohio to pull a clean sweep of top teams on Saturday. Josh Chichester, Heath White, and Donte Jackson led the Cincinnati Cowboys. The Queen City Prophets lost a two-point game in the final 8 to the Cleveland Basketball game that went to championship. Adrian Graves, Eddie Gray, and Brandon Russ led the Prophets. Ward Banks, Todd Mayberry, and Robert Jackson also play large roles with this team. Overall, the competition here was great. Congratulations to all the youth that participated!

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